The first weeks

Keri Withington


The super markets and gas stations were obvious targets;
everyone tried to claim them. I went for the forgotten places:

campus food banks, REI, the food already scavenged, but
good for supplies. I can break a vending machine faster than

I could ever find quarters, and quietly, too. I keep as much water as I
can carry, grab tissues and condoms and tampons when I can,

Tylenol too. I grab any medicine I find. Who knows
when there will be doctors again, hospitals? Who knows what I

will need, what people will trade for? Money isn’t worth its weight.
Electronics are useless without infrastructure. The world

may still exist, somewhere, but not here. We are alone. I am
still trying to find you: tagging walls, leaving clues, staying close.




Keri Withington is a poet, educator, and aspiring homesteader. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, recently including anthologies from White Stag Publishing. She has published two chapbooks: Constellations of Freckles (Dancing Girl Press) and Beckoning from the Waves (Plan B Press). Withington lives with her husband, three children, and four fur babies in the Appalachian foothills. You can find her teaching for Pellissippi State, planting in her yard, or on FB (@KeriWithingtonWriter).